The role of acceptance in mood improvement during Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Virginia K. Arlt Mutch, Susan Evans, Katarzyna Wyka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: This study elucidates the association between acceptance, mindfulness, and psychological well-being in a community-based sample participating in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Method: Participants (n = 52) completed an 8-week MBSR program at an academic medical center. Participants completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II) at pre- and post-MSBR programs. Results: Serial mediation analysis suggested that changes in mindfulness preceded changes in acceptance, which improved well-being (indirect effect = −6.57, 95% confidence interval [CI; −13.38, −1.57]). Participants with low pre-MSBR acceptance significantly increased acceptance and well-being (p <.001). Moderated mediation models suggested that the pre-MBSR acceptance level moderated the mindfulness-acceptance and the acceptance-well-being link. Conclusions: Acceptance may be related to mindfulness and pre-MSBR acceptance may differentially affect outcomes. Limitations include a nonclinical sample and a lack of a control group. Future research may examine mindfulness “dose” and other mechanisms that facilitate improvements in outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • MBSR
  • acceptance
  • mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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